Imaging CAR T cell therapy with PSMA-targeted positron emission tomography

Il Minn, David J. Huss, Hye Hyun Ahn, Tamara M. Chinn, Andrew Park, Jon Jones, Mary Brummet, Steven P. Rowe, Polina Sysa-Shah, Yong Du, Hyam I. Levitsky, Martin G. Pomper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for hematologic malignancies is fraught with several unknowns, including number of functional T cells that engage target tumor, durability and subsequent expansion and contraction of that engagement, and whether toxicity can be managed. Non-invasive, serial imaging of CAR T cell therapy using a reporter transgene can address those issues quantitatively. We have transduced anti-CD19 CAR T cells with the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) because it is a human protein with restricted normal tissue expression and has an expanding array of positron emission tomography (PET) and therapeutic radioligands. We demonstrate that CD19-tPSMA(N9del) CAR T cells can be tracked with [18F]DCFPyL PET in a Nalm6 model of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Divergence between the number of CD19-tPSMA(N9del) CAR T cells in peripheral blood and bone marrow and those in tumor was evident. These findings underscore the need for non-invasive repeatable monitoring of CAR T cell disposition clinically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaaw5096
JournalScience Advances
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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